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The Power of Positivity

September 21, 2020

Positive emotions make us feel good. But they also offer long term health benefits. Langley Group CEO and developer of her institute’s Diploma of Positive Psychology, Sue Langley, says that research has linked positive thinking to long term mental and physical health benefits.

It’s easy for us to focus on negativity over positivity when we’re tired or frustrated with other people. And that’s ok. Positive thinking takes practise. And a little practise is worth it to improve our overall wellbeing.




How does positivity impact health?

Positive emotions have physiological benefits. Sue says “We’re now learning from a brain perspective and a body perspective how our positive emotions help us physically… There is some wonderful research around physical resources, such as your immune system, getting a bit of a boost. Your digestion improves when you’re in a positive emotional state, cardiovascular health, and even grip strength. I love the fact that somebody’s tested that when we’re in a positive emotional state our grip strength increases!”


So, how can we all get a slice of wellbeing pie? Thankfully, there are plenty of strategies to choose from. The trick is to work these into daily life so they’re easy to do. If you walk the dog each day, practise thinking of three things you’re grateful for while walking. It may be ‘my cute pup, this walking route, having a friendly neighbour’ for the first week or so, but over time you’ll notice the positives throughout your life as you walk.


What can I do to think more positively?

Here are some strategies to try. If one doesn’t suit your mood on a certain day, simply try another. It’s important to have a few tactics on hand and use whichever suits you at the time.


Gratitude: Three things you’re grateful for, as described above on our dog walk. Alternatively, these might be written in a journal each night or in the morning to start the day fresh.


Curiosity: Questioning and exploring things involves focus and paying careful attention. Let’s all choose to dig a little deeper and learn something new.


Savouring: This involves in-the-moment reflection. If you see an amazing view, hold onto that enjoyment for a moment and appreciate it a little longer.


Mindfulness: Put simply – be in the moment. If you’re on a beach walk focus solely on your breath, the sound of the waves, the crunch of sand beneath your feet. When your mind wanders, gently draw it back to the moment.


Lifestyle: The most important strategy of all. Eating healthy foods, sleeping, and exercising daily is essential. These give us the dopamine we need to focus on the task at hand.


Learn more about harnessing positive emotions through some of Dr Sue Langley’s talks here



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